'On my period' Facebook button

The ‘On My Period’ Button On Facebook – Will It Change The Indian Mindset??

Facebook – One of the most sought after social media platform! Invented by world’s youngest  billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the second home for millions of people out there. We have created a world of our own, where you only see what you want to see. You have your chosen friends whom you like the most and whose posts and pictures appear on your homepage more than often. We manage meeting up friends and family irrespective of where we live, how busy we are, Facebook keeps us in touch!

Is it good or bad? Well, It’s psychological! Facebook gives pleasure to your mind for you are getting the acceptance socially (Though Virtually), it rewards you with food, sex, jokes, news etc. It will show you the advertisements that you like the most. Smart enough? With the recent development that has linked with Facebook is, a 20 year old girl’s letter to Mark Zuckerberg requesting him to add a button ‘On My Period’ on the Facebook. Arushi Dua, a law student from Delhi, India has requested to do so in order to spread awareness among Indians who in many parts of India believe Menstruation, as a taboo!

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Image source: amazonaws.com

Letter written for a good cause, definitely! Agreed there are Indians who will wrap your purchased packet of sanitary napkin in a paper first and then in the transparent polythene bag, India, where women in period are barred from entering temples, women in period cannot cook,  and beliefs or I should say taboos’ that keep changing as we move from location to location. But can a Facebook button ‘On my period’, will help remove this stigma? No, I am not saying it is gross to do so; however, it is difficult to eradicate mentality of Indians, who have a religious connect with their beliefs and taboo that they hold. Not only these, some of the beliefs have lately been approved by the science also and hence any such move taken, they have a powerful verbal defense mechanism.

I understand Arushi’s social vision to make Period, a happy one for everyone but do we know what is the age group that hits the highest numbers as Facebook users? Mostly are youngsters, adults and the platform has comparatively less accounts of Indian elders who believe Period- a social stigma. Moreover, according to scroll.in records, for every Indian woman on Facebook, there are three Indian men! As per the 2014 Facebook India statistics, there are 2.7 crore women and 8.4 crore men Facebook account users. This is even worst than the population sex ratio of India, i.e is 943 women for every 1000 men in India according to the 2011 census report. What I am trying to tell here is, first we need to make Indian women believe that Period is a gift and not to be looked down upon! I am sure if you, me and other women Stop the people around us from thinking or following Menstruation taboos, they will mark their words and actions the next time. So, Change the women’s traditional  mentality first and then look into the virtual world.

Facebook 'On mY period' option cover

Image source: wired.com

Do we even know whether any girl/woman would like to share her personal biological process to be highlighted to the world? I wonder they will like it! On my personal account, I wouldn’t not like it as I have my reasons and here they are:

  1. I would keep some of the life’s changes to myself and not keep it open for the world. As sharing every detail of yours on Social Media is something I wouldn’t prefer.
  2. I like the term Privacy and if I get my period today or tomorrow, I choose to keep it a private business, not that I do not want to tell at all. I may if it is required but definitely would not hit a button virtually.
  3. Period – Not a social stigma. It is a good cause but I have other ways to handle it. I may write articles and post it for the people to read, I will join an NGO working for the same or even share their activities on Facebook or for that matter I can even write a hard punchline on why, how and proud things about period.

Why I prefer not to have ‘On My Period’ button is, India has population of women who are emotionally, mentally connected to their deep rooted religious beliefs, the lessons of grandma on do’s and don’ts on period, the scoldings of mother for someday having spoken louder about period. If they are not ready to accept their period has a happy one, how can they make others do so? And if they have overcome social taboos and are bold enough to speak about Period on Facebook, how are they going to reach rural India? Do they have access to even Internet, forget about it, electricity? India have ¼ Facebook accounts of ¼ total population! Rural India, and specially women, who happens to be less active on Facebook are the one’s we need change. Urban women or girls who have accounts on Facebook are already enough educated to post or share anti taboo’s things, but we need a change in our roots and then on surface.

I am with you Arushi Dua for all your social causes, for your menstruation march to remove the taboos but this is what I had to say about the ‘On My Period’, button.

Image source: buzzfeed.com

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